NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1057788
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8507
Language Maintenance in a Multilingual Family: Informal Heritage Language Lessons in Parent-Child Interactions
Kheirkhah, Mina; Cekaite, Asta
Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v34 n3 p319-346 May 2015
The present study explores language socialization patterns in a Persian-Kurdish family in Sweden and examines how "one-parent, one-language" family language policies are instantiated and negotiated in parent-child interactions. The data consist of video-recordings and ethnographic observations of family interactions, as well as interviews. Detailed interactional analysis is employed to investigate parental language maintenance efforts and the child's agentive orientation in relation to the recurrent interactional practices through which parents attempt to enforce a monolingual, heritage language "context" for parent-child interaction. We examine the interactional trajectories that develop in parents' requests for translation that target the focus child's (a 7-year-old girl's) lexical mixings. These practices resembled formal language instruction: The parents suspended the ongoing conversational activity, requested that the child translate the problematic item, modeled and assessed her language use. The instructional exchanges were asymmetrically organized: the parents positioned themselves as "experts", insisting on the child's active participation, whereas the child's (affectively aggravated) resistance was frequent, and the parents recurrently accommodated the child by terminating the language instruction. The study argues that an examination of children's agency, and the social dynamics characterizing parental attempts to shape children's heritage language use, can provide significant insights into the conditions for language maintenance
De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter. P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960. Tel: 800-208-8144; Tel: 703-661-1589; Fax: 703-661-1501; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A